Notts v Hampshire, NatWest T20 quarter-final, Trent Bridge

Vince leads Hamphire to fifth straight Finals Day

George Dobell at Trent Bridge

August 3, 2014

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Hampshire 198 for 5 (Vince 93*) beat Nottinghamshire 197 for 2 (Wessels 62*, Patel 53*) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


James Vince led his side to a fifth consecutive Finals Day, Nottinghamshire v Hampshire, NatWest T20 Blast quarter-final, Trent Bridge, August 3, 2014
James Vince led his side to their fifth consecutive Finals Day © Getty Images
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Hampshire became the first county side to qualify for five successive T20 Finals Days following a five-wicket victory in the quarter-final of the NatWest Blast over Nottinghamshire.

Hampshire were indebted to their captain, James Vince, for helping them chase down a daunting target of 198. Vince, promoted to the captaincy for this competition despite his relative youth (he is 23), made an unbeaten 93 - a career-best score in this format - to help his side reach their target with an over to spare. It was the third highest successful run-chase in the competition this season.

If Vince's batting was worthy of victory - his driving through the off side was especially eye-catching - Nottinghamshire will know that they were, to a large extent, the architects of their own downfall.

Not only was Vince badly missed on 20 - Alex Hales failing to take a sharp but distinctly catchable chance at cover off the bowling of Ajmal Shahzad - but the hosts also contributed 14 extras (eight no-balls, four byes and a wide) and will know they bowled well below their potential.

Harry Gurney, who now carries the expectations of an England bowler, struggled to hit the correct lengths - Vince thrashed four boundaries in his first over as Gurney overpitched and then over-compensated with a short slower ball - while a preponderance of full tosses throughout the innings rendered it almost impossible for Nottinghamshire captain, James Taylor, to set a field.

It is Notts' first loss in white ball cricket in 10 matches, stretching back to June 13, but a result that will do nothing to shed their burgeoning reputation as chokers. It was their fourth successive home quarter-final defeat in the competition.

Nottinghamshire were strong favourites at the halfway stage of the game. Making first use of an excellent T20 surface - it was hard to believe this was next pitch on from the strip deemed "poor" by the ICC after the England v India Test - they were powered to an excellent total through ever more impressive half-centuries from Hales, Riki Wessels and Samit Patel.

If Wessels played some outstanding strokes - one slow-sweep for six off Kyle Abbott was quite exceptional - it was Patel who most caught the eye. Quick on his feet and blessed with strong wrists, he gave himself room to thrash the bowlers off their lengths and then punished the resulting full or short balls that followed. His half-century occupied only 23 balls and contained three sixes and four fours.

Taylor blames bowlers for T20 exit

  • Nottinghamshire captain James Taylor was quite clear as to where the blame lay for his side's fourth consecutive home quarter-final defeat.
  • "That is by far and away the worst we've bowled in the competition this year," he said. "Our bowlers have been outstanding in this competition. They've won us plenty of games.
  • "So to put in a performance like that with the ball, when we've been outstanding all season, is uncharacteristic and very disappointing. It hasn't happened all season. For it to happen on the big stage is devastating for the club and the guys as individuals.
  • "We never executed our plans. Even Luke Fletcher, who is usually a banker with his yorkers, missed them at the end which summed up our performance."

While Hampshire's bowling was not at its best - Kyle Abbott was particularly ragged, but Danny Briggs will not reflect with great joy on this performance, either - they were grateful for four frugal overs from the gentle-looking Will Smith. Bowling what might generously be described as off-breaks, Smith mixed-up his pace cleverly but most of all gave the batsmen little room in delivering the most economical figures of the day.

Hampshire started well in reply. But when Michael Carberry ran past Patel's first delivery and then Shahzad claimed two wickets in two balls it seemed Hampshire would have too much to do. The first delivery, a bouncer, took the glove of Glenn Maxwell as he attempted to hook, while the next, a well-disguised slower ball out of the back of his hand, completely deceived Jimmy Adams who was lured into a drive that he spooned to cover.

Instead Vince thrashed four sixes in seven balls - the first three pulled off Patel, the fourth slogged over square leg off a Steven Mullaney no-ball - to put his side ahead of the run-rate and then calmly picked off the full tosses as they came. He rarely had to wait for long.

He added 81 in just 6.4 overs with Sean Ervine with Patel squandering a chance to end the stand early by putting down a tough chance on the boundary when Ervine had 11. While Patel originally seemed to have held on to the ball, he was obliged to throw it to the ground as he staggered to avoid stepping over the boundary rope and conceding six. Ervine ran two instead and went on to take Hampshire to within 20 of victory.

While four byes off the penultimate ball ended any chance Vince had of reaching an individual century, he still rated the finest innings as one of the finest of his career.

"Given the situation - a high chase in a quarter-final - that is up there with one of my best innings," he said. "At the halfway stage, chasing 200, it looked as if it was going to be tough."

Hampshire, who play Lancashire in the semi-finals and who have won the competition twice before in 2010 and 2012, will be without Maxwell and probably Abbott too, due to international commitments (there is a slim chance Abbott may be allowed to return) though Owais Shah will be back from Caribbean Premier League duty.

It will be little consolation to Nottinghamshire that they were part of a highly enjoyable game of T20 in front of a large and appreciate crowd. 11,237 witnessed a match full of big hitting, some athletic fielding and some high-profile blunders. In the end, though, Hampshire simply made fewer mistakes.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Lmaotsetung on (August 6, 2014, 5:10 GMT)

What more does Samit Patel needs to do to get recalled back into England's limited overs side?

Posted by Harlequin. on (August 4, 2014, 10:48 GMT)

@Jason Hutchinson - you can't say that the batting looks light without Maxwell, just after pointing out that he hasn't got any runs for them!! I know what you mean though, but that is because their batting looked light even with Maxwell when compared to teams like Surrey/Essex/Notts.

I can see why Taylor isn't liked by the England set-up either, that was a very honest interview he gave.

Posted by Jamie-1212 on (August 3, 2014, 18:36 GMT)

Class knock under immense pressure. James Vince plays proper cricket shots and in a few years i can see him playing in all three formats for England.

England play such negative 50 over cricket, why wont they follow the example of the rest of the world and have 2 positive batsman in the top 3. James Vince is a candidate for one of these spots alongside Alex hales and Jason Roy.

Imagine a top three in 50 over and 20 over cricket of Hales, Roy and Vince? Mouthwatering!

I wouldn't be surprised if Alastair Cooks "steps down" from the 50 over captaincy and it makes way for one of these young guns to open Vs India, with a view to the 50 over world cup next year

Posted by   on (August 3, 2014, 18:27 GMT)

Wow! To chase down nearly 10 an over was impressive to watch.

I thought Sammit had got Nottm over the line with his 50. In hindsight, maybe Wessels ran out of steam and prevented a score of over 200.

Fletcher was the only bowler that appeared to be able to put a break on things, particularly at the start. Gurney was poor, and the normally reliable Mullaney took some hammer.

Who is to replace Maxwell (who has been very disappointing bar one 50 0ver score) and Abbot. The batting looks light without Maxwell, and Hants need a quick bowler at the death.

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